He's the man from Halifax, Nova Scotia, who is responsible for one of the internet's most outrageous back catalogues of sunshine Rock 'n' Roll - it's Harley Alexander. Fresh from this summer's epic release Woof, Alexander has taken time out to create a very special cover for Third Outing.
But before we dive into the cover tune, there's a few things we've got to say about this guy. First of all; Woof really is a banging record. If we could we'd give this man an orchestra, a million dollars and a recording suite at his disposal - we sure he'd probably create one of the most majestic albums of all times. But with the help from Sports Day and a couple of friends, well he really hasn't done so badly at all.
As we said when we first came across Alexander back in 2015, "to write about the entire genius of Harley Alexander is not possible in one short article. The best thing to do is introduce you to the great Harley Alexander and allow you to revel in music opinion which makes sense, and the latest release which makes even more sense".
But that's enough admiration. Anyway, we gave him 3 choices:
Alexander chose to cover The Buzzcocks Boredom, so here's why he chose what he chose followed by the cover itself. It's a baller...
After reading through the lyrics to each song I ended up choosing The Buzzcocks 'Boredom'. The energy of the original is pretty hectic and cheeky, but beneath the posturing there's some pretty heartbreaking words that really resonated with me, more so than the other options. So, I found a slower tempo and changed the key to help me frame the words more honestly in my own feelings and took it from there.
*DISCLAIMER* Next time you send an email to a music site with an idea for a fishing-related article, please, just don't bother or we will actually publish it. All the best Chris. Big love, Third Outing
If you want to get children involved and in touch with nature, there’s no better way than fishing. Although children can be as temperamental as the fish biting, there are a few steps you can take to make these early trips more fun and enjoyable, if not just for the kids of for yourself as well.
Keeping it Short and Simple
If you are taking your children fishing for the very first time, or they are still new to it, then keeping the fishing trips to a half day maximum is ideal. Even this could be too long when you are showing your kids how to get started fishing. Children tend to lose their concentration after an hour so even half day might need to be broken up into chunks. If they are bored and they wish to run around and throw stones in the water, then you should let them do this before they decide to retake hold of their rod. The area where you go is also crucial and can include beaches which are great for when they are bored and wish to build a sandcastle or two, and then there are jetties and lakes. Any fishing from boats or kayaks should be left until much later because if your kid can’t run around, it will end up a real dampener.
Child-Friendly Gear and Equipment
Depending on the age of your kids will determine what type of equipment they can use. There’s no use handing them a full-sized rod and reel and expecting them to be able to cope because before you know it, it will be in the water. Many companies specialize in kid-specific fishing equipment. This can range from basic poles for the younger ones to rods and reels which are made smaller and cater for their smaller hands and strength. You should also explain the different lures and live baits etc. The last thing you want is a spinner smacking you in the back of the head. The bait you use for your kids can have an effect on them. Some might not like a work to be slid onto a hook. Frozen bait is ideal in this situation as is soft plastic options if your kids are capable of casting and using a reel. Bait which smells might be a turn off for them, so it is better to choose the safer options
The Perfect Spot
Fishermen like a challenge to catch the best fish. Unfortunately, kids don’t have this insight into what makes fishing such a great pastime. They want to catch fish almost immediately, so on the first few trips, you need to choose locations which do have plenty of easy to catch fish. Stocked pools are ideal and also tend to have the types of fish which are easier to catch such as Perch, Crappie, Panfish or Sunfish. If you have a bite before they do, you can ask your kid to help you reel the fish in. Once they feel the excitement of a kicking fish and then see you land it, they will be all the more excited to do it with their own rod.
Packing a Child-Friendly Picnic Lunch
This can be a deal breaker for kids, so you need to cater to their cravings. They do like to eat outdoors, and when by water. However, a couple of plain sandwiches just won’t do it. A heft picnic lunch which has all their favorites and maybe an odd treat they love, but they only get when fishing. Once they’ve had their fill of their favorite foods and snacks, they’ll love the idea of eating outdoors more often. After this, there is the stage when kids need to understand one of what they have caught might be their dinner. Making sure they are okay with eating a freshly caught fish is a good idea, so ask them if you should let it go or take it home for dinner.
Relaxing and Having Fun
Although you love fishing, this time is about making it fun for your kids even more than your enjoyment. You have the area set for plenty of biting fish and their favorite outdoor lunches packed, but that is only half the battle. Making a competition out of fishing can be a great way of holding their interest. If they know, they can win a game, and kids love games they will try their hardest to beat you at your own sport. It might be worth doing the things dads do all to often and cheat a little to make sure they do win more times than not.
The Band Ice Cream have been described as "terrible human beings playing terrible music." Very harsh! But if that doesn't make you want to listen to this record, we don't know what will. Full stream of Numbskull is below...
So, if you thought FIDLAR were great then just wait a bit 'til you've listened to Numbskull, the band's second outing after Classically Trained which came out last year. Here's what we wrote: The Band Ice Cream clearly are a melting-pot pop band, toying with the genres and the textures. It's a good sound which matches a very good image. Here's what we think: It's a good summer record, it gives you the kick you need when at a shitty party where nobody's having any fun. Put on the album. Here's what we love: the punk attitude with good melodies and catchy hooks to match. Here's what we suggest: getting drunk while listening to this album. Trust us. And finally here's what we think is the best track: Softboy Rock and Your Guy.
If you want to buy this album, follow this link. Numbskull is out via Urban Scandal Records.
Let's be honest here for one minute: the World Cup is boring unless you're a fan of Colombia (oh ayeeee?). To restore your faith in the greatest sport of all time, here are some clips about football; step overs, sweaty hands and beers.
Echo Pressure - 1998
Let's start with a brand new clip from our boy Echo Pressure. It's about the 1998 WC, which was great because France won. France had the best players and Lilian Thuram. And when you have Lilian Thuram, it's like having N'Golo Kanté - you can't lose, can you?
Philippe Katerine - Rouge et Noir
The funniest French singer of all time made this song to get free tickets for the semi-final of a game of his hometown team. He got the free tickets, but he did have to work a shift in a burger van!
Ant & Dec - We're On The Ball
A classic, right? Not played on the radio during drive time anymore (sorry Ant).
Fettes Brot - Fussball Ist Immer Noch Wichtig
Aye, they got knocked out early on but nothing brings a tear to the eye more than this unofficial German world cup anthem! Eins, twei, drei, fucking hell Thomas Mueller what happened you div?!!
New Order - World In Motion
Manchester, football and music: New Order. That's it. If you're at the Indie disco this week give it your best John Barnes, okay?
Del Amitri - Don't Come Home Too Soon
Love a PESSIMISTIC Scot during the world cup. Well, at least back in the day they used to qualify, now Amitri's song would be called "Don't Come Home"
The Lightning Seeds - Three Lions '98
Another classic, it's obvious, but it doesn't get old, does it? I wonder which bright spark put the word 'Kunst' on the back of the German shirt? Arty.
Trust Fund - Football
A bit of indie in this list. Though Trust Fund doesn't like Third Outing, we like his clip and here it is. We've forgotten why they hate us, can you remember? We're sorry Trust Fund, honest. Blahhhhh!
Equipe de Foot - Faking Poetry
Another French band from Bordeaux. Their name: Équipe de Foot (no need for translation here), it means 'Red Wine'.
And for the last one. Our favourites for the tournament...
It wasn't so long ago here on Third Outing that we discovered the incredible Sammy Hale. His stand-out track Hollywood Hills from debut album Post Cult gave us renewed hope - folk rock 'n' roll is still alive and well in the US of A today. But we only got to know one side of the Nashville hero, there's something else to talk about...
Sammy Hale AKA Shane Graybill also has a freaky electronic side, too. Playing under the name Cult Choir, Graybill has developed quite the prolific back-catologue of tunes that shows a different side to the folk man Sammy Hale. So much so, that Cult Choir have delivered us an absolute covers curve ball, and one of the best we've had to date.
Now, here the usual rules don't apply - because Shane is an absolute baller and informed us that he was desperate to do a Frank Ocean cover, there was only ever going to be one choice. Here's what he went for followed by the all important why (and, oh! Check out more from Cult Choir in particular last year's Haunted House Party release):
Cult Choir is where I do my electronic, weird, beat and synth stuff - so I've chosen the song "Ivy" by Frank Ocean. I only got around to listening to his sophmore album "Blonde" late last year and it immediately struck me as something very personal - without genre or any type of limitations during the songwriting and recording process. Frank has such a beautiful voice - so I know a lot of people are going to say I didn't do this song justice and I probably didn't - but I love the album so much. I rarely do covers, but have been wanting to do a Frank Ocean cover for a little while now. My friend Mike Heller of the band Smoky Willows whom I've worked with a lot in the past helped me out with some of the bass, synth and mellotron sounds - he's the best.
Back in 2015 when we first heard SARN's dreaming words "Go Tell it To A Wall", we were converted - this style is unique and John Vanderslice is unique. 3 years later he never ceases to amaze us. On the back of the fantastic new release HELLATRIPPPIN, SARN has attempted to do what no other cover star has done for Third Outing so far - to create the ultimate original cover. How does that work, you ask? Well, here's how SARN got on.
The usual rules apply - this time we gave SARN a choice of three very special covers. Here's what he chose and why, let me tell you, as far as covers go - this one is one of the most unique of all time. The selection is:
I thought I could do more with Girls Just Want To Have Fun creatively given the song is so well known and the melodies are recognizable. I knew I didn't want to do a straight cover and I knew there was no way in hell I could ever do a Sparklehorse song justice - they're one of my favorite artists ever!
Good news, if you love this cover just as much as we do then check out the very latest release from SARN called HELLATRIPPPIN. Recorded at The Tiny Telephone in Oakland, California, and released by Deathbomb Arc - SARN's unqiue spoken word delivery and cutting melodies make for one hell of an interesting record...
The Streamer, ‘Top-Down Listening’, and Musical Socialism
By Ben John
The change in music listening platforms from iPods and mp3 devices to online streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music has changed the way in which people listen to music more significantly than any other platform change since vinyl. Whilst it is well established that new technology has allowed more people access to creating music (even easier when most people pirate software anyway – I’m looking at you, Lorde) the way that streaming makes people’s listening habits more egalitarian is not often talked about.
Music streaming means that people are inclined to listen to new music in a ‘top-down’ way. This means that instead of buying an album and listening to it from start to finish, they will search for an artist and when faced with a list of otherwise equal song titles - the modern streamer will differentiate them in a way previously impossible - and that is by the play-count on the tracks. They will begin with the most popular tracks and work their way down from the top.
I know from personal experience, and from talking to other music listeners, that in many cases this ‘working down’ will last only a few songs. This normally leaves the streamer with a broad range of known artists, but only a shallow depth of intimacy with those artists. I may have 1000 artists on my Spotify, but likely only have a couple of songs for each artist (with few notable exceptions).
This is markedly distinct from the listening habits of older generations who listened in what could be described as from the ‘bottom-up’. They would buy an album, and listen to it all, finding their personal favourites by actually listening to all of the songs. They found the best tracks by surprise on their first listen. The streamer won’t stumble across their favourite track - they will let the algorithm find the most popular ones, and take their pick from that.
The digital listener demands: “Give me what you got!”, then takes the best one or two tracks from that artist to add to their ultimate playlist(s) before moving on. A good modern example might be Stormzy. How many lovers of ‘Shut Up’ would really know the name of any of his other songs?
What are the implications of this?
1 - Music listening is shallower
The first and most obvious implication is that digital listeners are potentially missing out on some great songs in the back-catalogues of each and every artist that may, and probably do contain, some potential classics that the algorithms do not bring to the top for the very reason that no-one is listening to them. It creates a cycle where the popular tracks get more popular, and the forgotten gems stay forgotten to everyone other than those who commit to plodding through the hundreds of un-featured songs available beneath the surface.
It is easy to observe this phenomenon in live performances. I can’t count the number of gigs that I have been to where the majority of the crowd is familiar with one or maybe two of the songs, and the rest are new to their ears. I would be lying if I claimed to not have been one of these people many times. From the 2014 Mobb Deep concert that I attended had a crowd that only got truly animated for the last song: ‘Shook Ones Pt. II’ to the 2018 Verge Collection gig that only started grooving for ‘Our Place’.
The scary thing is that this phenomenon actually also seems to be working retroactively: it shapes our taste in older artists as well. A 1970s listener would have been much more likely to have a deeper knowledge of Earth, Wind and Fire’s songs but nowadays your average streamer would be able to name ‘September’, ‘Boogie Wonderland’ and ‘Let’s Groove’.
2 - Music listening is broader
It also means that people listen to a greater number if unique artists. We have wider and more inclusive music consumption habits, and this is where ‘musical socialism’ comes in. More than ever, individuals and smaller off-label artists are able not only to release their music, but to actually be heard, even if it is only one or two of their songs.
Listeners are not only exposed to more artists, but streaming means that they actually listen to more. It is one thing for access to making music to be more equal (like we also saw with punk bands in the late 1970s, for example) but it is another thing for the consumption of music to be more equal. With these two factors, the modern musical landscape looks a lot more socialist than the oligopoly of the past.
3 - Music is more collective: it is more about the genre than the artist
Whereas in the past we saw big, seminal albums by bands like Queen or Nirvana, we now see movements of music made up of hundreds of small artists moving like schools of fish (from Vaporware and Synthwave, to more established electronic genres like Techno, House and Drum & Bass, for example). That is not to say that genre did not exist before, but just that it existed in a different format i.e. led by a number of major artists who more or less dictated the sound of that genre.
Collective listening is particularly salient in electronic music where a question like “who is your favourite house artist?” is sort of a silly question. It is like picking a favourite street in your favourite city: you don’t go there for that street in particular, you go there for the hundreds of streets that make up the whole city. What matters now is the collective movement, not star-studded individual acts.
What might this mean for the future?
It looks like if this trend continues we might see music progress in a more genre-oriented way with thousands of individual acts contributing to more creative and original sounds than would ever have been possible when music was being shaped by fewer, more popular artists.
Top-down listening (along with more accessible music-making technology) will actually insulate music tastes from being shaped by the whims of those artists at the top, and instead will come from the collective tastes of many, smaller music makers. Music genres will become like hives swarming with contributors that have the ability to project our collective cultural consciousness by pooling those tastes and preferences together. In this world of escalating individualism – music seems to be going in the opposite direction.
*The author was given a free CD of the new Courtney Barnett record and he then got so bored he wrote this entire piece before even finishing the album*.
Michael-James Dent AKA Outlaw Boogie has been busy writing his latest EP Five Years. He can also be found playing in various outfits across the capital such as Zooz, Hunck and Yoofs. So, it's a wonder how he has the time to do anything else. But for Third Outing - Michael-James has pulled out all of the stops by taking up his guitar and covering a genius band - Spacemen 3. Here's Walkin' With Jesus by Outlaw Boogie!
As usual we gave Outlaw Boogie a choice of three covers before asking him to choose one. Here's his big three followed by his feelings of the track. By the way, this is one of the best covers we've had to date:
I was very happy to have been given the opportunity to cover Walkin' With Jesus - not only are Spacemen 3 a favourite of mine - but it really allowed me to try something a bit different. A lot of the Outlaw Boogie material was written with an emphasis on the standard formulae of pop music, so to work on a song that is incredibly free formed and focused on creating a vibe was a real pleasure. I haven't stepped very far away from the original - which might seem a little safe - but I wanted to have fun creating this version and I definitely did!
Ever wondered what Bill Withers would sound like if he were making music right here right now? He'd be as smooth as ever. He'd ooze the same sunshine lyrics. He'd be dynamite. If Bill Withers was making music right here right now - he'd sound like New York City's very own Gyason. Who better to put the cover challenge to than the wonderfully intimate soft husk tones of Gyason Copeland?
As you will know by now we give each artist a choice of three covers before asking them why they chose to recreate the one they chose. Here are Gyason's three followed by his feeling on the track - enjoy:
I chose Affection because it was really calm. It sounds like something I should listen to on a cloudy day - it really stood out to me. I had heard of the band before but never heard this song. I liked the change of melody over the same chord progression throughout the song. Lastly, I thought that the vocal style was a good match for me. He has a very soft, almost whispering voice - that is usually my "go-to".
As we know - Jackson is a minimalist - a nostalgic being. It serves his music well and conveys his style perfectly. He's been pretty busy lately making music under his other project name Succulents - and will also be hitting the road in May on a grand tour of Canada with Mike Mikus. To celebrate, we asked Jackson to be the latest genius to recreate a number for our latest covers feature. We gave him three choices - he went for Alcooholiday by Teenage Fanclub.
(If you didn't read our first feature, we ask an artist to record a cover for us and find out what draws them to the song). For Jackson, we gave him the following tunes:
I had never heard this song before but I felt like it fit my 'vibe' more than the other tunes. It just has the sort of lazy, chilled out guitar strumming stuff going on that I can really get into. I think it's sort of a sad song. "Falling into line, but I'm doing nothing, we've got nothing worth discussing" and the title being Alcoholiday. I spent a lot of time driving around with it, thinking about the lyrics - it kind of reminds me of the feeling of going on a drug bender or something. Just like, going on vacation from your responsibilities and getting into the sauce.
He's the young lad from Hartlepool - a small town in the North East of England - who has just released his incredible debut 4 track EP Memory. Andrew Smith draws comparison to some of today's best Lo-Fi artists including Big Star and Bonny Doon. But in this, the first of a series of new cover features exclusive to Third Outing, we've challenged Smith to go head to head against one of music's greatest song writers of all time - Brian Eno. How does he level up - you decide?
We gave Smith 3 choices:
Read why Smith chooses Eno followed by his Third Outing exclusive cover of Eno's Baby's On Fire below:
I went with the Eno song because I thought it had a great melody. I think the centerpiece of the original is that really long Robert Fripp solo, but the vocal melody really appealed to me, and so I wanted to frame the song around that instead.
Look through the window: it's the opening to the world of Pittsburgh-born/Portland-based Sara Renberg's incredible new Lo-Fi Indie record Night Sands. But it's too good, it's begging - DON'T JUST DO YET ANOTHER EMAIL Q&A INTERVIEW THIRD OUTING - I want to hear a real story about Night Sands. So, to take a real view inside the music - we asked Sara to tell us a story inspired by Night Sands using the lyrics found in each track. See if you can spot them...
Everywhere, batteries are dying. There’s a parliament of teens on the driftwood, as drunk as the clouds. I wonder which of five things they will grow up to be. I wonder if they all know what to do in the event of a tsunami.
“Haystack Rock is the third tallest megalith in the world,” you said when you first brought me here, which isn’t true, but I’ve never let the fear of turning a party into an ex-party get in the way of a little fact checking. And the facts: it is a majestic upward jab of earth; in the spring and summer it is covered in tufted puffins; The Goonies was filmed here; I’ve never seen The Goonies; I found a bent penny in the grass; megalith isn’t even a word. This is a reason we are friends. One moment you are the ballerina, and I am the cop, and then we switch.
Sea anemones in the tide pools. Wild rabbits in the hedge. Ping pong in the basement, listening to a battered cassette of the Forrest Gump soundtrack.
We’re taking a break from the future for the summer. We eat sandwiches in the sand and walk by the corner store: CHEAP COLD BEER SOLD HERE. The ex-party becomes re-party and I forget that I am the only gay person in this house.
It is kind of you to bring me to the birthplace of your imagination. Now that I have these images, I can imagine you better. To confess: when I look at the ocean, I can see how I’ve been a river. When I sleep in a twin bed, I wake up in the past. When I make us coffee, we make it into the present together, and I can imagine a future where I could have a problem in front of you.
We think that speaks volumes about this wonderful record release. Lo-Fi, Indie, poetry - whatever you want to call it. Inspired by Silver Jews, Mirah, Liz Phair - whoever you want to say. This record is an inspiring example of when true poetry meets music.
Noir Boy George with Usé. Photo parispsychfest.com
Thanks to the hard work of underground record labels, tuned out bands and arists for arts sake prepared to lose mega money on fucked up non-commercial music rather than toeing the line - some of the greatest music of our time is being released right now - you just haven't heard it yet. Here's the five French projects that will switch your brain to overload...
They don't do interviews. They don't want to be commercial, make money or promote their music. Nina Harker are from Nantes and that's about all we can tell you about them. Apart from the fact that their music is from another planet, of course. Thank you Le Syndicat Des Scorpions for releasing this beauty.
JC Satan, The Villejuif Underground or Cheveu - Born Bad Records have had a successful story. While some are still milking garage rock for all its cool - like it will never dry out - the sleaziest alley cats have gone drinking elsewhere. That's where Nico, the mastermind behind Usé, is drinking. Below is a live recording of their track Amphetamine thankfully released on Kakakids Records!
Hailing from the outskirts of Paris, Jessica93 is the project of the one and only Geoff Laporte - nervous indie rock and roll expert. This is his third outing, Guilty Species, and in fairness is the one that clearly stands out. Listen below.
Bryan's Magic Tears
We introduced Bryan's Magic Tears last year, but they deserve to be on this list. The band - named after a particularly strong type of acid "magic tears" - mix fuzz with melodies. On their début everything blurs into a ghosted memory of a song. Mistiness with a clear propulsive force. It's truly a sound to haunt the senses.
Noir Boy George
We have to finish with a legend. Noir Boy George is the anti-hero, singing about frozen babies and taking drugs under bridges. His melody screams loneliness, shit cold northern towns and a grim humdrum. The soundtrack of many.
*This list was made by Old Biscuity Boyle, who came down the office with the name of these five bands.
Rule Britannia in Georgia, Atlanta
With Philip Frobos from Omni
By Steffen Armstrong
They pose with Winston Churchill in Hackney boozers, hang out with Marc Riley on 6 Music and tour with Franz Ferdinand. Then consider new LP Multi-Task as a stones throw away from the sounds of The Jam and XTC. It seems there's Rule Britannia in the great city of Atlanta, after all. Consisting of ex Balkans, Deerhunters and Carnivores, Omni's British Indie of the Deep South is more intriguing than any amount of red-eye gravy on yer' fish and chips!
But it all makes sense when you see the Trouble In Mind Records link. Home to other Third favourites such as Jack Cooper's Sandgrown and Soft Wall's No Time, there's a distinct Britishness about the labels preferred sounds. Omni slot into the philosophy very nicely, offering a wonderful hybrid of British Indie Punk staccato guitar riffs with the unmistakable classic American driving bass line - a musically geographical cross-breed of the highest degree! Take in the new record Multi-Task below and see the quick fire Q&A with member Philip Frobos.
Third: We've been telling people you're Georgia's modern version of The Jam!
Philip Frobos: Well that's very flattering, we love The Jam! Omni is Frankie and I having fun, playing the music we enjoy. Rock 'n' Roll.
How does Multi-Task compare to you last release Deluxe? You know what they say about "difficult second" albums... // I think it sounds better fidelity wise. It was definitely a more deliberate effort as well, with Deluxe we didn't really have any goal in mind to release the album. It was really interesting and fun to have to create a follow up as an obligation, I know we both enjoyed that. I do think Multi-Task stands just as firmly on its own.
Equestrian is our favourite track, what's yours? // My personal favorite at the moment is Choke.
What is it about bands and recording in remote cabins in the woods? Fassbender in Frank!! // I haven't seen that film, but I can tell you it's so nice to be away from all distractions and obligations...and to be loud!
You've both got very respectable Rock 'n' Roll pedigree with Deerhunter and Carnivores, what's your hope for Omni // I would just say it's our current band as we are no longer active in the others. It's definitely never been a side project. We're excited for the future.
What's the state of the Atlanta music scene right now? // It seems to be staying the course, we played with two bands the other night that were doing cool things, Lois Righteous and Yukons.
The Jazzy Sidney Gish
Words from Sidney Gish
By Steffen Armstrong
"I've had a passing interest in jazz for a while, nothing I've actually studied seriously, I'm okay at theory, but as a player I'm totally a baby", admits Sidney Gish. Her new record No Dogs Allowed utilises jazzy chord progressions and song structures which prove the perfect back-drop for Gish's own 'Great American Songbook' endeavor, AKA to create a golden book of timelessness. "I like listening to jazz" she continues, "but I like it best hidden in songs that are good anyway, like vegetables hidden in brownies or something".
Narrative and storytelling are Gish's trump cards. Where last year's Ed Buys Houses was the first signs of the talent, No Dogs Allowed proves it wasn't a fluke. Intrigue lies in Gish's technique; writing songs as melodies first, and then adding in lyrics that sometimes don't go with it. She bends and makes it work as a sentence, or in some cases, just ignores the process altogether and spews out the first nonsense she feels like. For example, I'm Filled With Steak, and Cannot Dance.
The track utilizes some classic 'Gishisms' from the last record, like double tracking and strong bass line clickage, both of which loosely cement the lyrical style into place. There's also a natural charm about the delivery. "I had all these VHS videos already, and I felt like it fit the best with that vibe. For me, the sparkly arpeggios hit the same kind of vibe sonically that the fake camera fuzz does visually", says Gish. Together with a jazz inspired approach to chord structure and the importance placed on melody, there's a real effervescence to the album.
Indeed, there's continuation from Ed Buys Houses, but for the last time it seems. "What they've got in common is the work pattern it took to make them – totally inactive on the recording front for most of the year, then working through the night over winter break"...
..."After doing that for the second year in a row, I feel more motivated than ever to just get up and record, as opposed to trying to plan out an album before I make it, since that never works". Gish points towards some helpful advice from the archive of Bill Wurtz. Do things in the now, you can't hold things back, you can't create two separate worlds of creativity and storage.
Aye, turn on the radio and listen to a shit song (apart from Jona Lewie - he is a Christmas God). The same old Micky Bubbles ruining something Sinatra probably ruined himself 50 years earlier. Don't get us started on Carey - the only one we're interested in is Jim and he's not in any Christmas films this year anyway. It's all drab. So here's the alternative. And yes, this is nothing new either but we've got better taste than Rolling Stone magazine so shurrup!!! Merry Christmas and all that, go...
The Felice Brothers - Carriage (The lonesome Christmas)
One for the Country lovers, this is what we imagine is played in the Catskill Mountain Country bars where Christmas cheer is lacking. Toast Grandpa Felice!
Courtney Barnett - Boxing Day Blues (Revisited) (The indie Christmas)
A spooky, warming riff which sums up how average Christmas can be, especially after a shift in the pub (probably). We do feel sorry for that abandoned tree!
Pixies - Winterlong (The 90's Christmas)
Isn't this a nice track? The B-Side to the very warm sounding Dig For Fire, we think this could be the best forgotten winter ballad on the list. Frank Black AKA Santa?
Jonnie Common -Yippee-ki-yay, Father Christmas (The modern Christmas classic)
This is a modern Christmas classic of our times. We raved about Jonnie Common's Die Hard tribute last year, and indeed about him all of this year!
Okkervil River - Listening To Otis Redding At Home... (The casual Christmas one)
This is the tune which is all about those slow, lingering times only a Christmas holiday can offer. It's dark, it's long, it's poetic, it's beautiful, it's Christmaaaaaas?
Belle and Sebastian - Winter Wooskie (The best Christmas song)
Who's that girl? Only Belle and Sebastian could do a winter warmer like this. Trust me, this is the one which will become addictive after going through the list!
Malcolm Middleton - We're All Going To Die (The Christmas cool)
The boy with the Arab strap wins the prize for the coolest Christmas video of all time. Watch Middleton tear up the streets with some tinsel and a bell. Enjoy!!
Yes, it's that time of year again where we announce the best 11 bands and artists of 2017! We look back at some of the sounds which have inspired us to hear differently, think new thoughts and continue to be amazed by the power of music. Here's to the best of the best from the world of alternative music 2017 that have featured on Third Outing. Muchos thanks see you next year.
GK: Cigarettes After Sex
It felt natural to give Greg Gonzales the golden gloves this season given its been one hell of a ride. Cigarettes After Sex's eponymous LP came out a few month ago and they got all the reviews. As often the case with "blogs", we've been following them for a few years now and even met him in Nottingham last year. Thrilled the band are finally getting the recognition they deserve, here's the pick of the songs from the new record.
RB: Sidney Gish
A dark-horse contender in the Third Outing starting line-up, this is one of the most surprising records of the year. Like a gift from the Gods, Ed Buys Houses somehow appeared in the Third Outing stratosphere and the rest is history. We love Sidney Gish's laid back approach to music; she's the female one band version of Pavement. Listen to this time-capsule of youth in its entirety - honestly, we think she's better than the likes of Courtney Barnett.
The first notes of this record capture the Cotillon magic perfectly. There's just something so good about those vocal meet guitar lines, right? The Afternoons is strange, complex and tender. We noted the dark elements found on the record, but the more you listen, the more uplifting it feels. Alex's Room is the standout; it's a time and place where the air is becoming less oppressive and the scenery becomes more bearable.
CB: L.A. Salami
Easily one of the most influential artists this year for the Third Outing team, L. A. Salami has the art of song writing near perfected on the magnificent Dancing With Bad Grammar. Describing himself as "6 foot tall, dark skin with facial blemishes, thin, nappy hair, male, city dweller, artist, poet, on some days music maker" - this Burberry fashion man and Okkervil River support act has had a 2017 to remember.
One of the tightest and most consistent bands we've featured, Glasgow rockers SHREDD proved on Everytime We Meet I Want To Die that melody reigns supreme! We absolutely loved the second track on the EP I'll Leave It; merging Punk and Rock 'n' Roll together like no other this year. That bass line is savage, right?! The next time you're in the second city of the empire, catch 'em at The Old Hairdressers.
RM: Bonny Doon
We consider this fine group of musicians to be the 'flair players' of this year's line-up. We first came across Bonny Doon when we heard their self-titled debut EP, and like a scout who watches the young prospect grow to become world-class, it's wonderful to see how these few tracks, rough around the edges with little thought gone into recording, have ultimately shaped where the band are now.
CM: No Monster Club
"One listen through this year's No Monster Club encyclopedia, and you'll blurt out my favourite, over-used descriptor: GENIUS." - Third Outing. Aye, we were quoted on that one! Releasing one EP every month this year, the prolific Bobby Aherne has at times seemed absolutely unstoppable. With songs like Kung Fu Buffet being churned out on the regular, Aherne flies the flag for the Dublin collection in 2017.
You all know we're big fans. They're just one of England's greatest hopes, the band's band around town and real artists in the mix. Simple. The kind of band you acknowledge and deal with, Darkroom shows off YOWL's bemusing Frank Sidebottom meets Arctic Monkey's vibe, but then in truth there's nothing really to compare the Peckham punksters. Must experience live!
LM: Jack Cooper
The romantic North. Hardened faces, softened souls. It's about personality, mentality and wits. As winter crept up, Jack Cooper's solo debut became Third Outing's perfect rainy Sunday morning record. We love how the North comes across in Sandgrown portraying 9-5 mentalities and a constant battering from the seafront. Bravo! I mean, nice one t'lad.
CF: Catholic Action
We've already spoken about England's greatest hope, these lot are Scotland's greatest hopes! We told you to put your faith in a pop song and Catholic Action answered the prayers. Last year it was the rocking L.U.V which blew us away, this year it's Breakfast. They're a band who have just gotten better and better as time goes on. Nobody else is like them on this list or any other.
CF: Jonnie Common
The only guaranteed starter up top this year. Our very own Ibra and Neymar rolled into one, unrivaled in talent and Scotland's finest lyricist; Mr Jonnie Common. Since discovering Common with his Christmas ode to John McClane, we've become fascinated by his seemingly never-ending back-catalogue. With the release new single Restlessness, he is probably also the proud owner of Third Outing's very special 'track of the year' accolade. Perthshire's greatest.
The DIY specialists, deserving of a place in the starting 11. The former Hair Blair Bunchers (note excellent Peep Show reference) really impressed us with the Lucky Aide EP, especially the track Easy (Don't Be Long).
Indie Rock 'n' Roll Revivalists to the core, Remo Drive threw us right back to the late noughties earlier this year with their first full length record Greatest Hits. Yes, they make you want to start an Indie revolution!
Gifting us one of the best 'lose yourself and get smashed' records of the year with PLW VIP. Making music for movement, SWEAT chase a sexy sound, made in the wrong ways, that doesn’t add up the way it should.
MAN: Fuzzkill Records
Where do we begin but with a list of the mega bands and artists Fuzzkill Records have contributed this year? The likes of Spinning Coin, Catholic Action, Breakfast Muff, SHREDD; we've had the pleasure of interviewing them all on Third Outing. Raise your glass to Scotland's greatest party planners and this year's manager of the year!!
Photography by Brett Walker©
Curls is the new Girls
An interview with Curls
By Robin Ecoeur
It is fair to say that whatever Christopher Owens touches turns to gold. Now, I have something to confess. I learned the guitar by playing Girls' songs. And I've always wanted to ask him one thing: C/Am/F/G...it's kind of your trademark, isn't it?
"I'm a self-taught musician", Christopher tells us. "So I don't know a whole lot else, but it's great to work with different musicians that can take a basic chord progression like that and play over it". Fair enough. It's maybe too common to consider a "trademark", but I've always been fascinated with musicians who can use the same chord progressions over and over yet spark countless melodies. This is where real and true talent lies.
"We've got a solid rhythm section, solid songwriter, great in-house producer, and the single uniting goal of making these songs reach their potential"
Christopher has that talent, and with new band Curls he is once again showing it to the world. Joined by Luke Baće and Cody Rhodes, the band's début EP Vante feels very familiar and you'll swear you've heard that melody before. And you probably have. But not like that. Not like the way Owens and his new pals have managed. Because it will always have that magical touch. Always. It's still original.
Why? It's difficult to say. Owens has always been a very open artist who makes deeply personal music, full of emotion. That's also why so many people relate to his music. And at the end of the day, Curls is a continuation of Girls. But maybe just a more stable and focused band, who seems to work together a little better.
"Solid" is the term Cody Rhodes uses, and the solidarity might be key to Curls' future. They might just have found the stability needed to grow in a musically healthier way. The result might just be as good as Girls. Perhaps even better.
On social media, Christopher, you wrote "we’re all working boys too, so this won’t be about touring and PR, etc." Is that still the case? // That was the case in the beginning but things are constantly evolving. We did just get a minivan with bucket seats though! Maybe we can put it on a ship and sail it out to your wonderous island.
Cody, what musical direction is Curls taking? We're taking things one song at a time right now with no real stylistic or aesthetic destination in mind. We've been bouncing the new songs around with some friends in town that play excellent guitar and keys and are always pleased with their different interpretations.
Steely Dan-ing the songs with different players possessing diverse strengths on a song-for-song basis might be just the ticket for these new ones. That being said, we've got a solid rhythm section, solid songwriter, great in-house producer, and the single uniting goal of making these songs reach their potential.
I love the Velvet Underground vibe on Emotion. Your top 3 Velvet songs? Chris: To me, the Emotion riff came from Tommy James and the Shondels' Crimson and Clover. I like Velvet Underground the group, but to be honest, I don't own any of their records. I love Nico and Lou's solo records. // Luke: Sunday Morning, Sweet Jane, Heroin. // Cody: Gypsy by Fleetwood Mac.
Christopher, I have always wanted to ask. C/Am/F/G, it's kind of your trademark, isn't it? What's so magical about this chord progression? // I'm a self taught folk musician so I don't know a whole lot else but its great to work with different musicians that can take a basic chord progression like that and play over it. I feel like that progression is pretty common in Rock & Roll or Pop music like The Beatles.
It's Popty-Ping week here at Third Outing, and so we take a look at the four records released from the colourful series so far. They're all very different, though each has its own charm. So, check out the Welsh country's next gen of Indie bands a la Popty-Ping...
Shy and the Fight
First up is Shy and their vibrant release All That We See Or See / Breaks. The first is a powerful building ballad with great use of instrumentation. The music style itself is like a progressive folk hybrid which catches the imagination of pop music. Having seven band members helps, too. But the real standout is Breaks. The wonderful guitar melts with string accompaniment, and the melody pushes the imagination further.
The magic Mowbird are up next with their body bending Indie Rock 'n' Roll. From the Happy Active Horse Organ / Carousel release, the first absolutely gets us going. Mowbird truly deliver a fresh sound with their unique "cosmic garage" on this one. Carousel is a little more typical but still sings a punk anthem proudly, and regardless of snything proves that the group from Wrexham have got it going.
What a signing for Popty-Ping with this time-defying beauty. Hummingbird / Sofia is miniature fuzz release skill-ranking alongside the Supergrass' of the world. Hummingbird is our favourite of the two partly for the sweetness in melody sung, partly because we now can't stop singing it. Sofia is slightly different in its approach; more of a slower moving ballad, though still worth of the Trecco Beis badge.
Which means last but not least, the wonderful Gintis. Dennis / Oh My Little Malcontent is an intriguing release, and indeed the one that made us get in touch with Popty in the first place! You'll listen to Dennis and transport immediately to a heavenly worldy combination of Teenage Fanclub and The Beatles.
But then oddly, they sound like neither. For us Gintis are the most complete group from the series to date. Luckily their other releases can be found on Soundcloud, though admittedly lacking in new-releases.
Today we aim to tackle one simple question. What is the best song to have ever come out of Wales? And we're going to answer it simply. Of course yes it's by Super Furry Animals, but is it the one you're thinking?
I get it, yes. There's loads to choose from. Tom Jones and Ms Bassey will feel hard done by (thanks for reading). Stereophonics, well that was never going to happen. Goldie Lookin Chain got a consideration, and well Cerys just does radio shows now right? It can only leave us with one of the greatest Rock 'n' Roll bands of all time and definitely the greatest to come out of Wales...the capital's own Super Furry Animals. So without further ado, here's our favourite track of theirs, and therefore the best one to come out of Wales too...Hometown Unicorn. Are we right? Let us know @thirdouting.
Popty-Ping week concludes tomorrow.
This is the story of Philadelphia band Ruby Keeler, perhaps the last great undiscovered band of the late 90's. 3rd Outing discovers the story of what could have been...
When you first listen to Dotti Hoffman on the second Ruby Keeler record They'll Build a Neighborhood Where Your City Stood, two things should instantly come to mind. First, there's a certain Pavement felling here. Second, it screams Indie Rock and Roll at its best (two elements we pine for here at 3rd Outing, but we shall not not dwell upon that)! Here's the story...
It's late 2000. One year before The Strokes roll up and bring guitar groups "back" to the forefront of music. Ruby Keeler have already released a début record Shiver Shiver, and have gained the attention of the local newspapers. They're a good Rock band, and their first LP is more than a decent first effort. Is it outstanding? No. Is it very, very promising? Yes. The perfect blend of Punk, Grunge and Indie Rock elements. Ruby Keeler are going to get bigger.
"The Philly Weekly was especially good to us. Their best writer gave our first record an over-the-top review that really helped."
Soon after Ruby Keeler started working on the follow-up record, returning more confident, ready to show the world who they (really) are. But the second outing never released. A disagreement about who they were going to record with ensued and it signaled the end. That's until now. Jagged Skyline, a record label based in East Midlands, have just released a collection of songs and demos from that time, a collection which shows just how good Ruby Keeler could have been.
They'll Build a Neighborhood Where Your City Stood is a proudly imperfect album which remains flawless. It sounds madder, weirder and a whole lot bolder than their first record. They clearly upped their game, and made the progression needed in that all important second release. It portrays a band too lazy to Rock, fluttering with resigned melodies, sending out a laid back message with a certain coolness attached to it. The kind of attitude lacking from too many bands.
"There are a lot of terrible bands, but there are also lots of great bands not many people have heard of."
Now, here's the question which unfortunately cannot be answered: could this record have been the one that would have changed everything for the band? The one which would have helped the band gain a wider audience? Maybe. We can't answer that. But Jeremy from Ruby Keeler has kindly answered some questions which might help shine a light on the matter. Here's the interview...
Do you think that if They'll Build a Neighborhood Where Your City Stood came out in 2000, the band would have gained wider success? // Who can say? I think what really would have tipped the scales was not one record, but instead if there'd been a local label or some other para-musical institution (like a super good zine) which would have acted like a center of gravity for all the disparate bands, the way Merge did in North Carolina. When I lived in the UK I used to buy Sounds, NME, and Melody Maker every week and it was intense how complete a view you could get of the entire UK just from reading those but it seemed like they reviewed every gig and said nothing of the records.
Did you get any recognition from your first releases?
Sure, print medias, especially the local free weeklies. They were a big thing and we would usually get some kind of a write up in places when we were on tour. The Philly Weekly was especially good to us. Their best writer gave our first record an over-the-top review that really helped.
Jeremy, we'd like to know. How come you're not more famous? I mean, your music is fantastic. So what happened? // Well, thanks, but I don't know. You know, there are a lot of terrible bands, but there are also lots of great bands not many people have heard of.
Why did They'll Build a Neighborhood Where Your City Stood never come out? // We had a disagreement about who we were going to get to record it. The first two songs were a 7" we put out, but the rest are demos we did on the fly.
This performance on Chic-A-Go-Go is pretty funny. Do you remember it well? // For sure, Chic-A-Go-Go is a great institution. One thing you don't see on that clip is that the show is co-hosted by a rat puppet named Ratso! They did a whole episode of the show that was a spoof of Behind the Music telling Ratso's story; when Ratso bottoms out it's because he talked his friend, a French frog puppet, to sell his legs to a restaurant so they can go buy ice cream.
When Chic-A-Go-Go came through Philly a few years later I got to do the camera when Ratso interviewed Art Brut and Gil Mantero's Party Dream at their show at the First Unitarian Church. Both bands were total naturals being interviewed by a rat puppet, by the way, which was really impressive. And Gil Mantera's Party Dream were eating crappy gas station hoagies throughout their set. That was very memorable.
Photography by Ben Davis©
Pope are back. Third Outing's best Louisiana rockers return with the new release True Talent Champion out on Community Records on November 3rd. But how exactly have the Known Weed Smokers developed in the last 2 years, and are they now there?
Pope have always been able to write silk. They also know how to thrash. The first record proved this where fuzzy, heavy noises gave way to some of the more gentle, reflective sounds; Hunter Mann, Cashier, Glass and Beast all became instant favourites.
But now there's a step for Pope to take, who are no longer the newcomers. This first full length release after a long hiatus is just the opportunity Pope need to prove that they're there with the best of their contemporaries, who have remained much more publicly active over the past few years.
On the very first EP release I was taken by Pope's sound. I listened to the intro of Hunter Mann 100 times over. But something niggled, I found Pope flaked as the songs went on. The second phase, the development, wasn't quite as good as the first impression. Most songs, despite great hooks and ambition, lacked something. Now in late 2017, True Talent Champion is a signal of intent.
"There's some songs that move into some new territory with the synths and different styles of songwriting"
Pope have developed as songwriters. They're getting there. The three public tracks from the record show the affect time has had on songwriting and recording. Despite claiming to be a band who lack the same confidence as before, "not knowing what the fuck they are doing", they've come back more complete, and able to better elaborate upon their ideas.
Out of all of the tracks to talk about, Talk Me Out Of It is the winner. "Before I drive with my eyes closed again, I'm a real true talent champion". It's the sort of opening line and chord progression Pope specialise in. But now this magic fragment seems to continue throughout the entire track. The verses develop and intrigue, and the guitar solo, well that's just the the most fitting of all endings.
It's a real development which puts Pope on the same level as great bands like Glasgow's PAWS and LA's Dante Elephante. The release of True Talent Champion is the biggest signal of intent from Pope that even though they're getting there, this is a band who one day control where there is.
Three things about True Talent Champion people don't know yet? // The A/C was broken most of the time in studio so Matt preferred to do his vocal takes naked. We would do group aerobics before every recording session. During recording we consumed 50 cheese pizzas, 37 shrimp po boys, 17 falafels, 11 gallons of crawfish ettoufe, 2 apples, 75 kombuchas, and 1 half eaten cannoli from the trash can.
From the early sessions to the final cut, how has this record evolved and changed? // This record was kind of put together in chunks over a period of about 2 years. After Fiction came out we got pretty busy touring with our other band Donovan Wolfington, and it was hard to find time to write new music let alone sit down for long recording sessions. There's songs that were written pretty immediately after Fiction came out so they have that sort of sound, then there's some songs that move into some new territory with the synths and different styles of songwriting.
"We were a lot more confident back then. Now we don't know what the fuck we're doing"
So you have been actively venturing towards new sounds? // We've definitely been trying to write more dynamic, "complete" feeling songs, and really trying to get the most out of ideas...but the sound of this new album is still what you'd probably expect from Pope. Maybe just a few more clean guitars than last time. As far as new sounds, we used some synth and piano on the record. While we probably won't be incorporating synth in our live show anytime soon, it was fun to see what we could do with those things in the studio to create some new textures and ear candy.
Despite new sounds do you still all share the same influences like Bedhead, GBV, and Nirvana on this new LP? // Since we recorded some of these songs right after Fiction, the influences were pretty similar, but even today we are listening to a lot of the same stuff. Matt has been more into hip hop lately. Stuff like SZA and Frank Ocean. Atticus listens to the Cleaners from Venus, Arthur Russell, and the DB's, Alex has been listening to Ariel Pink, Andy Shauf, Elliott Smith, and Roy Orbison.
In 2015 you told us that you will become the "biggest band in the world and enslave listeners with loud noise pop". How's that shaping up? // It's shaping up terribly thanks for asking.
When I asked Jonnie Common if he'd experienced somewhat restlessness this year he responded as if I was from another planet. "Hasn't everybody"? In what has truly been a restless year for the many, not just the few, Common's music remains a light at the end of the tunnel. Here's 6 things Common gets spot on in Restless followed by an interview. The 2016/2017 bugbear annual, this one's for the dreamers...!
Technology is fucking boring! There's nothing worse than being tied to your phone all day, every day. Wake up; Facebook check, Sky Sports News check, frustrating views on Twitter we still read; check. Common points out iOS maps, and yeah it's true I'd love to get lost again, I just don't have the time to! Then there's having to text friends back, and feeling bad for only replying in your head! Throw in a couple more bugbears like the fucking tragedy that fidget spinners are, and no longer is Common alone in his year of restlessness.
Self-loathing is a key ingredient when it comes to working for the man. Especially on the weekend. Nobody wants to pull a shift then, especially for no thanks and shit pay. But we still do it. Or at least have to do it, apparently. That's what makes Common's shout out to the self-employed so spot on, they're doing something about it all! Carpe Diem etc. etc. It reminds me that it's all about winning the small battles, not necessarily the war. As he says, there's got to be a better way to win in the self-esteem stakes!
Novelty gift items (and other things of apparent magazine popularity). Like paper pineapples on straws. This video highlights that wonderfully. The kind of gift items you get from Urban Outfitters, from fish-eye-lens cameras, vintage suitcase vinyl players, to skull shaped plastic ice cubes and scratch maps. Throw in a pair of circular tortoise shell glasses for the 20/20ers and pfffft! If it gives him the shivers, it bloody terrifies me!!
Student loans, annual statements, electricy bills. The three most terrifyingly mundane concepts for anybody in their mid to late 20's. Then there's no drinks outside after 10pm, and a sudden desperation for cafetieres. No to worry though, music shall always prevail throughout the restlessness such themes manifest!
We should probably talk specifically about the music, right? The minimal instrumentation is clearly the portrayal of restlessness. But there's a lot going on man, I can see the mind trying to connect things. Like the cracking drop beat towards the end where the rhythm flows full. And the trumpet solo, so noble and sweet. The spoken word/rap style. Then finally the Doo Wop singing section; a fully rounded musical performance.
For me this track is all about daydreaming of bigger and better places. Common chooses to take himself to 21st and Broadway, New York City. It's a good place to start. Again as Common states in the song, it's all about wanting the world to change, but not necessarily having to do it yourself. As far as social commentaries go about the times and places we live, Restless is Common's song writing masterpiece to date. Music in its most current form. Make sure you see his upcoming Autumn tour, and the interview below...
Straight to the new track Restless. What's the story behind it, have you had a restless year?
Hasn't everybody? I feel as time poor and anxiety rich as ever. Hyperbole in my marrow from too much social medi-urgh. It's been a very busy year and, because I am some kind of idiotic yo yo, I always want to be working on the project that doesn't happen to be requiring my attention at that moment. Champagne problems.
We think your style has changed a little since we last conversed, the spoken word/rap element really stands out on the new track, right? // Well, I reckon what's happened there is that my last couple of releases have been a tiny bit atypical and my half-rapped / half-spoken / half-sung (wait, how many halves is that?) might predate your introduction to me. I've been trimming that hedge for a while now but, yes, thank you kindly, it does rather pop against the minimal instrumentation of the single doesn't it?
"I like the "shout out to the self-employed" line 'cos I feel like it's an extra little connection to the crowd"
How did you and Mario Cruzado come up with the video? The outfits you are wearing make me feel restless! // Mario had some ideas involving multiple "Me's" and we decided it'd be much better to use real life people instead of copying and pasting me a few times. Which worked out great as everyone was amazing and full of inspired contributions. Props to Jo who featured in the vid and her refined theatre-producing chops for help with the outfits! I may or may not pop mine back on for the tour...
What's the line you most look forward to delivering when you play Restless live? Mine would be "if it would clear my name I'd take a bullet for the last known Rhino, just to be a hero".
I like the "shout out to the self-employed" line 'cos I feel like it's an extra little connection to the crowd. And to think I almost didn't put it on the record. I fancied it as something I would just keep for live shows but the night before going into the studio I came to my senses.
Finally, you're a Third Outing favourite from last Christmas' Yippee-Ki-Yay release alone, have you got another festive treat in store for us this year? // I'm afraid not, no. But I do hope to complete my Planet Hollywood trilogy at some point. And I look forward to 'Yippee...' getting another chance to do the rounds in a couple months.
Like many artists today, with Gorgeous Bully it's the conversation that you focus on. Not the technical quality. There is, however, one question we will try to answer: is Lo-Fi an aesthetic choice or the only way he knows how?
Thomas Crang AKA Gorgeous Bully has the kind of story many musicians today could easily relate to. He started the project in 2010 with his girlfriend but it never got anywhere (with her). She left the band but he kept the name and continued to write and record. The early material was very simple, if not to say common, mostly cool vocal melodies and guitar strums (here's a best of from 2010 to 2016).
Lo-Fi often means a rawer form of a musical idea. It has more to do with channeling emotions and feelings than precise technical feats. It's also a mirror our generation's Indie style. We're the generation of bedroom artists, home studios and music straight from the heart. The lucky ones like Alex G, Pinegrove, Frankie Cosmos to name but three managed to find relative success and give hope to an entire generation of young musicians not afraid to "show" themselves the way they are, like Thomas.
"Lo-Fi for that convenience and that warm feel"
Gorgeous Bully carried on with 4-track bedroom recordings and half-baked songs, and as he told us, will probably be "flogging this dead horse for years to come" too. But the next thing he confesses all but confirms what we already had in mind. Yes, Gorgeous Bully use Lo-Fi because that's what he does best, and truth is, he also doesn't know any better."Before I started recording and writing 'Great Blue' I hadn't written or really done anything for the previous year for multiple reasons (being homeless, a bit jaded and generally an idiot) so honestly, I just felt glad to be settled and writing, recording and releasing music again".
The Gallagher brothers still give each other shit, Radiohead headline festivals and Damon Albarn, well he has his own festival. Even in 2017 the pioneers of Britpop are very much out there and still somewhat relevant. To celebrate, here's 10 Britpop songs which make you extremely thankful for a new era of music.
The Day We Caught The Train - Ocean Colour Scene
Now, by no means are we saying any of these songs are bad, well, apart from the final one (you'll see). The point is that they sounds like a product of their time. The Day We Caught The Train, sadly, has aged about as well as an avocado bathroom suite. The pre-chorus sounds whingey, and the "Oh La La's" inspire as much sing-along as John Cage's 4'33 AKA silence.
Paranoid Android - Radiohead
The ultimate Marmite "Britpop" band. You either love Thom Yorke's freakish delivery or you think he and they are the most-overrated proposition of the era. Unlike some of their more famous single releases, Paranoid Android is one for the hard-core fans only. Continuous ostinatos and pained cries. We, admittedly and obviosuly, side more on the negative side of the Marmite.
Dolphin - Shed Seven
We love Shed Seven. I know, it's against the trend to say this, but they knew how to write a catchy tune. That and throw in some northern grit and Rick Witter swag, and you've got a decent band for the time and place. So in this case, it's more of a "worst of a decent bunch". But what really gets this track on the list is the swimming pool music video. A true shocker.
Walkaway - Cast
Somethings are just depressing. This song probably tops the list. What's more annoying is Cast did so many better songs, like Sandstorm - that was a beauty - it's just that this one remains the most famous. The sentiment might have been there, but thankfully the longevity wasn't. Maybe we're being too harsh, even Noel Gallagher found praise calling it a "religious experience" to watch Cast live. So, how many people went to the reunions? Thought so.
Wake Up Boo - The Boo Radleys
Simply. Just no. Thankfully it's no longer heard except on the odd breakfast bar TV commercial.
Chemical World - Blur
This is just like watching a young footballer before his prime. Like Ronaldo at Sporting, you can see where the later Blur's magic stemmed from, but for a single release this is more reserve team than world cup final. But having said that, it is still one of the songs on the list I do occasionally still listen to, albeit very very very rarely. Still, it makes the list.
Monday Morning - Pulp
Different Class really was a different class. But this song just reminds me of everything that is wrong with a Monday morning but without the sadistic enjoyment of dreariness. Frankly, that's the definition of grim. Could this be the only Pulp song that stagnates? Quite possibly, as even old Jarv's vocal realisations don't save it. Definitely a skipper, and you know it.
Come Back To What You Know - Embrace
Another mid-90's swimming pool music video. In fairness, this tune isn't so bad. It's more to do with the Indie power ballad than anything else, they were all at it! Don't you find they just seem to drag in the fast pace of the modern world? Credit where credit is due though, these guys knew when to call it quits with an absolute mega gig at Millennium Square back in 2005, and now drummer Mike Heaton owns a cracking chain pizza pubs. Result!
Animal Nitrate - Suede
The penultimate song and a somewhat of a dilemma. The way Brett Anderson's voice combines with the unique sound of the Suede signature guitar riff usually thrills me, but for some reason I can't help but think there really isn't much to this song at all. For the catchy guitar hook and the extremely repetitive lyricism kind of cancel each other out. In other words, this could have been a great song. But isn't.